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December 20th, 2009, 06:38
Just picked up
Rise of the Argonauts
for the 360, for $15. It was a game I meant to come back to after the price dropped. Here are some thoughts after a few hours:
The subquests are actually meaningful activities. I wish more RPGs were like this. Granted, it's a little absurd that the King is doing them…but at least they aren't fetch quests. Tell X that his son is dead; tell Y her husband's last words were that he cheated on her and wants her to forgive him; etc. Not bad.
Good voice acting.
Lack of a mini-map is a real inconvenience. I have to click twice to access the map, then twice again to back out of it. I'm doing this a lot.
The levelling up system is interesting. It's not XP-based, but instead deed-based and dialog-choice based.
Control/movement is poor, very clunky and "slidey" (that's not a word, but I mean instances where you stop moving but your character doesn't).
Animations are often embarrassing. This is especially true when our Homeric hero is running down a hill. He appears to lope and hop over the ground, almost skipping. It's a scene fit for the museum of silly walks. It's very unbecoming a King and completely ruins the noble, heroic tone the game aims for. I can't see why they let this pass. Many other animations are simply jerky.
Occasional framerate hitches, fairly noticeable. I can hear the disc spinning madly, trying to keep up with the graphics it is rendering. The sad part is, the graphics aren't all that great, especially the character models. The background environments are pretty, though.
Character models repeat. There is one female model that is used over and over. Very noticeable.
I like the Greek storytelling and the fact that the dialog gets to the point, doesn't drag on.
Despite my gripes, I'm enjoying the game.
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